Elections Commission member Ahmed Akram’s claims that polling stations have ‘always’ had two ballot boxes sent to them is incorrect, says former president of the commission Fuwad Thowfeek.
In a tweet posted Sunday night, Thowfeek said that the commission only sends one ballot box per a polling station and that ‘a member of the commission should know as much’.
“EC’s Aram said that polling stations for each constituency will have two ballot boxes sent to them and that this is how it has always been done. How it has been done is that a single ballot box is sent; a large one for larger constituencies and smaller ones for correspondingly smaller constituencies”, the tweet says.
While public trust in the commission has nosedived since known ruling party activist Ahmed Shareef was appointed as its chief, a commenter denounced the entire commission as being ‘incompetent’ and ‘incapable of even misleading properly’. Thowfeek agrees.
Thowfeek’s tenure at the commission was well-received and he and his colleagues were widely regarded as having defended the integrity and independence of the 2013 presidential elections.
While the Supreme Court repealed the results of ballots won by now opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed and delayed run-off rounds, Thowfeek and his team had defied law enforcement and set up polling stations to meet the constitutional deadline for ballots.
Ultimately, he and then vice president of the commission, Ahmed Fayaz were stripped of their membership and sentenced to six months in jail through a trial opened on the basis of suo moto regulations that allowed the court bench to act as both prosecutor and adjudicator.